What You Should Know About Using American Ginseng for Diabetes Care
As the diabetes epidemic continues to grow, herbs such as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are being studied for their potential effects on the disease (now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States). Also used for such health purposes as fending off colds and fighting fatigue, American ginseng appears to aid in diabetes management in part by improving blood sugar control.
American ginseng contains a class of compounds called ginsenosides.
Known to possess antioxidant properties, ginsenosides have been found to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation (two factors that may play a key role in the development and progression of diabetes).
Research Related to Blood Sugar Control
For people with diabetes, maintaining control over blood sugar levels is essential for health. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to a host of serious complications, including atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues.
In preliminary research on animals, scientists have found that compounds extracted from the root of the American ginseng plant may help improve blood sugar control. This research includes a mouse-based study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013, which also found that American ginseng may help promote the secretion of insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by allowing your cells to take in blood sugar to use as energy).
To date, only a few small studies have tested American ginseng's effects on blood sugar control in humans. In one study involving nine people with diabetes and 10 diabetes-free participants, for instance, researc Continue reading